There are many lessons in life that must be learned. These are lessons that cannot be taught in school. There is no brochure or owner’s manual on the subject. These are things experience teaches. The sooner we learn some of these lessons the better.
Knowing when to quit is one such example.
Most people give the advice to quit while you’re a head. Since I also have a body with arms and legs sticking out, I’ve never understood that advice! Quit while you’re a head. As if we’re all a bunching of floating heads! Or can detach ourselves at the neck at whim.
Okay okay. I know. I’m not an idiot! They mean quit while you’re ahead. That space makes all the difference no?
Heath and I have been bike riding every Saturday since I got my new bike. It’s been a lot of fun. Not sure my butt would agree but it has been a lot of fun. He pushes me to go further each time, which is good.
Today was the best ride yet. As he pointed out landmarks and streets to me from the trail I was impressed with myself. He kept asking how I was doing and he let me be in charge of when to turn around and go back home. My legs were really feeling it but I kind of get addicted to that feeling when I exercise. Feel the burn, smile, and keep going!
At one point we stopped to take a break and Heath saw that he missed a call. Then he saw that the call came from home. But he couldn’t make out the message the kids left. We were both doing quick math in our heads. It took us this long to get to this point but how fast could we conceivably get home in case someone is dying in a puddle of blood? He called home to figure out what was up.
“That’s what you called me for? Are you kidding? … Yes, you can play video games until Mom and Dad get home!”
Nothing to worry about so we trudged on. Honestly, I don’t know what convinced me to quit the forward motion and move for home. It was probably a joint decision. I was tired in an exhilarating way but knew every yard forward was another yard back. (I have to measure in yards because it’s not like we really go that many miles. Actually, it’s kind of depressing to realize that round trip we only went about five miles today!)
It was a good thing we had quit when we did. At first things were whizzing past us faster than the first time around. I wondered if it was a been there seen it kind of phenomenon. Heath checked his phone app and saw that we were making better time! Sweet. The last mile was brutal though. I could not keep up with Heath to save my life. I pedaled the whole time but I was slower than tar going uphill on a cold day. My energy was completely spent and my butt was starting to scream.
Somehow we made it home. Even though it felt like I needed surgery to be separated from the bike seat, I managed to get off. Perhaps we should have quit earlier. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just my sore muscles talking though.
I have been working on an Easter dress for Gwen. The jacket went really fast. I made that yesterday. The dress seemed fairly simple so I was excited to see how much of it I could finish today. Knowing when to quit during a bike ride is still elusive but I do know when to quit in sewing.
It’s when I start making a lot of mistakes. The nice thing with sewing is that for the most part there is no point of no return. Mistakes can be fixed. Except when you look at the wrong directions and complete a dress bodice without sleeves when you intended to have sleeves. There was no unpicking to try again. I had clipped the seam allowance. Good thing there’s a jacket! Not that there’s anything wrong with a sleeveless dress. Heath and I prefer sleeves because it’s more modest.
The other thing with sewing is that it’s hard to quit. As the pieces start to come together and the garment takes shape it’s exciting. I can’t help but want to do more. So I got over the sleeve mistake and was ready to move on. Somehow I managed to throw my pins across the room. I don’t even know what happened. I picked up the magnetic heart and the next thing I knew it was facedown across the room, pins scattered in a line along the path. That’s when I knew it was time to quit.
Some of you may be thinking that these are nice examples but they don’t quite relate to you. Perhaps this next one will.
You’re driving to a restaurant for dinner. Your mouth is anticipating the food you want to order. Your tastebuds are tingling just thinking about the Diet Coke (er whatever drink you prefer).
A sign catches your eye. It’s for a bagel shop. You know that shop closes in the early afternoon. But then you see the neon open sign shining like a beacon of hope. Your mind begins to race. Mmm, bagels sound good. A nice warm sesame seed bagel with cream cheese shmear. Normally you get plain cream cheese but you’re feeling wild tonight and are imagining a garlic and herb shmear. Wait, kissing would be off limits then. Ooh, how about a soft strawberry? Yum.
That’s it. Your mind is made up. Bagels it is. But wait, what is this?
The open light is on but nobody is home.
Tip #3 in knowing when to quit: Turn off the sign when you lock up shop!
Thoroughly disappointed, you eat at the original restaurant. It doesn’t hit the spot. When you go home you craft an eloquent letter to the bagel shop describing how appalled you are at their trickery while including a copy of the picture. I mean really, who said that bagels can only be consumed for breakfast and lunch anyway?